Last week our managing partner and Head of Employment and Human Resources in Darwin GrayFflur Jones, is pleased to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week by attending the annual Mental Health & Wellbeing Show in Cardiff to present an important seminar for employers on how to effectively manage employees’ mental health.
During this interactive seminar, Fflur drew on its extensive experience Labour Code provide examples of real-life discrimination claims she has successfully brought before an employment tribunal, in order to highlight common mistakes made by employers in managing and mentally avoiding employees’ mental health.
In recognition of Mental Health Week, our Jobs and HR Experts share the key findings outlined in this seminar:
Can a mental state be equivalent to a disability?
Yes. An employee is considered to be disabled if he or she has a physical or mental disability that has a significant and long-term effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Therefore, if a mental health condition is long-term and has an impact on an employee’s ability to lead their daily lives, it may amount to disability.
How can an employer identify signs of employee poor mental health?
The following are common indicators that an employee is struggling with a mental illness:
- Obvious changes in behavior
- Decrease in labor standards or performance
- Increased morbidity
- Social exclusion
What steps should an employer take if an employee is struggling with his or her mental health?
1 – Make appropriate adjustments
If the employee is disabled, employers are obliged to make appropriate adjustments. Discuss with the employee whether you can make any reasonable adjustments to support the workplace, such as flexible work patterns, and check regularly to see if they need to be adjusted.
2 – Supporting absence due to illness
Do not consider absenteeism an exercise in ticking or rush to discipline an employee for his or her absence if you suspect he or she may be suffering from a mental illness. If you suspect that there is an underlying mental illness that is causing the employee to become incapacitated for work, discuss it with the employee and find out how you can help them get the support they need to continue working.
3 – Get medical and legal help
Consider getting a medical report from an occupational health specialist as soon as possible to better understand an employee’s condition and how to support them in the workplace. It is also recommended that you seek legal advice to ensure that you comply with your legal obligations.
If you need any information on labor law and discrimination, contact us Employment and HR team at 02920 829 100 on a free, non-binding chat where you can find out how they can help.